Saturday, September 23rd, 2017

Stealing on first-move (Part 3)

There’s a lot going on with this simple steal attempt of second base This is the final post in a three part series on stealing first-move on a left-handed pitcher.  In Part 1, I explained what stealing first-move is and... 

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Stealing on first-move (Part 2)

Sometimes you steal on the pitcher. Other times it’s on the first baseman. In Part 1 of this series I discussed what stealing first-move means and why it can be a very good option when a left-hander is on the mound.  In... 

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Stealing on first-move (Part 1)

“He’s going!!! This is Part 1 of a three part series on stealing second base using the “first-move” method.  Today I’ll focus on what stealing “first-move” means and why a coach/runner... 

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The Jam Drill

When a batter smokes a line drive right at someone, you may hear a coach say “Don’t worry.  They’ll even out.”  What he means is that someday the hitter will get a bloop hit and the two will even out. Never... 

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A better leg kick for pitchers

Young baseball players who are just starting to pitch typically need to focus on being very efficient and under control to help them throw more strikes.  However, as kids get older and the distances of their pitch increases,... 

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How to jump over runners on double plays

Over the past several years, Major League Baseball has instituted some rule changes about sliding in order to better protect middle infielders on double plays.  However, as I state in today’s video, middle infielders no... 

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Two tips for catching low strikes

One big job for catchers is to help their pitchers get more strikes called on close pitches.  How they receive/catch the ball can play a large role in that.  In today’s video, Coach McCreary shows catchers two ways they... 

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What sport are you playing in the fall?

You can have the year-round baseball player. I’ll take the defensive back! Over the past couple decades, specializing in one sport (especially baseball) and playing it year-round has become a popular trend.  It’s... 

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The mini wind-up for pitchers

Learning how to pitch can be a difficult thing for young pitchers.  Bad balance, not staying on their line, and simply bad body control add contribute to young pitchers not being to consistently throw strikes.  Usually less... 

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Touch the front of first base!

Here is a painful reminder why a runner always needs to touch the FRONT part of the bag at first base.  No exceptions!  I’m hoping Harper’s knee injury is not serious. Touching the front gets you to first base more... 

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Tip for catchers to help their coach on close pitches

“COME ON, UMP!  WHERE’S THAT PITCH?  LET’S GO!”” Sit close to a field and you will hear a lot of variations of the phrase above.  Quite often, what follows will be the umpire calling time-out,... 

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Tips on diving back to first base

The photo to the right shows a runner properly diving back to first base on either a pick-off by the pitcher or an after-the-pitch pickoff attempt by the catcher.  Either way, the process of diving back to the bag is the same.... 

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The underrated push bunt

In my opinion, one of the most underrated plays in baseball is the push bunt from right handed hitters.  Someday I’ll make a video demonstrating how to do it properly but today we’ll just get into the benefits and... 

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You only “pitch” when you are in the stretch

How many times have you seen a pitcher warm-up before a game or throw a bullpen between starts and never (or almost never) throw any pitches from the stretch?  I lost count. Think about it … when you are pitching in a game... 

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Improve the last warm-up pitch before the inning

We’ve all seen it a thousand times … the catcher yells “Comin’ down!” before the last warm-up pitch by the pitcher.  At the higher levels, the catcher just puts his throwing arm out to the side and... 

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Three ways to quicken your transitions from catching to throwing

The photo on the right is my son about to throw a ball to a teammate in this year’s SE Pennsylvania 10u Ripken State Tournament Skills Night.  The event they are participating in was the Around-the-horn competition.  The... 

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The importance of being aggressive early at the plate

Be aggressive early! As all of my readers know, baseball is a very cerebral game.  The difference between winning and losing & succeeding and failing at the game often is more about what is going on between the ears and not... 

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The shortstop’s priority when holding runners on

There are a boatload of little things that shortstops should do in order to effectively hold runners on at second base.  However, one stands out as the top priority and that involves getting the runner (and third base coach!)... 

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Sometimes you have to pack the parachutes

I recently heard an inspiring true story from a friend/coach.   It goes like this … Captain Charlie Plumb was a fighter pilot in the 60’s during the Vietnam War.  While on a mission, his jet was shot down.  He was... 

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Good outfield jumps are mental

One of the things I always stressed to my players, especially the outfielders, is that on every foul ball, I should see all seven fielders behind the pitcher move in the direction of the foul ball.  For example, if the batter... 

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Happy July 4th week

Hi everyone! No posts this week.  I hope you and your families have a relaxing and fun 4th of July week!   Next post will be Monday.  Good luck if you are playing this week!   Coach McCreary Share this:FacebookTwitterEmailPrint Read More →

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If you know a young player, make him watch this

Young American kids typically wear $80 spikes.  They use $300+ mako bats.  They play on nice fields and they carry baseball bags filled with 20 pounds of other gear.  Some are the best players in their area.  They have dreams... 

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How to improve your pitching machine

I’m not a gigantic fan of pitching machines mainly because they are so unrealistic to how a ball is going to be pitched to a batter.  Here is a picture that shows the obvious problem.   No pitch will ever shoot out... 

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Base running – A yard makes a big difference

If you have been a reader of this site then you probably know the story of why I call it Baseball By The Yard.  If you don’t, watch the video on my Home Page that explains the story and the significance. The other day I... 

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How to rub up a baseball

As a former pitcher, it bothers me every time a sparkling white, brand new baseball is thrown into a game.  If the game balls are my team’s responsibility then they will always be rubbed up.  It’s just habit. Watch... 

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How to autograph a baseball

I’m a stickler for doing things right when it comes to the game of baseball.  Right down to how to autograph a baseball. In today’s video tip, I show the wrong way and the right way to do it.  If you are going to... 

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Pitchers – warm up in the same direction

Warm up in the same direction! As a pitcher, I don’t think I warmed up in a real bullpen until I got to high school.  And even then I think only one or two fields had them.  Most of the time a catcher and I would find... 

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Knob to the ball v Hands inside the ball – What’s the difference?

I’ve said numerous times on my site that one size never fits all when it comes to teaching baseball.  Everyone plays and learns differently and therefore requires unique methods of instruction.  This is true right down... 

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Proper helmet throwing

I’m a HUGE Domingo Ayala fan.  In my opinion, this is his best work yet.  Check out all his other videos HERE.  Enjoy!   Share this:FacebookTwitterEmailPrint Read More →

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Slumps and the common cold

Treat a slump like you would a cold Sooner or later, everyone will catch a cold just like every batter will find himself in a rut or a slump.  The two are very similar because no matter what you do, you are going to have both... 

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Be on second base!

Challenge yourself to be on 2nd base on every fly ball! You see it all the time in the big leagues on TV.  A player hits a pop-up, slams the bat down, and runs about 60% to first base.  Most of the time, the fielder catches... 

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Pitchers and the Spotlight Effect

If you ever took a psychology course then you probably know that there are many things that can impact how we perceive the world around us.  Quite often our perceptions are flawed as a result.  Concepts like confirmation bias,... 

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Within three pitches

Tired of these games? Successful pitching at any level is not rocket science.  Get ahead and force them to put the ball into play.   There are very few situations in the game where a strikeout is necessary.  2nd and 3rd and... 

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The good and bad of golf during baseball season

There have been several times where I have watched a batter for the first time during a hitting lesson and asked the player, “How long have you played golf?”  The response has always started with a look that said... 

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Accelerate the barrel through the zone

Accelerate the barrel and attack the baseball! One of the hundreds of baseball sayings my dad passed on to me growing up was, “The ball will not jump off the bat by itself.  You have to make it jump off your bat.”... 

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Strikeouts are killing baseball

No worries. Apparently nobody cares anymore. When I was in the Twins organization, I had a teammate who was a power hitter who struck out a lot.  Another teammate was kidding him about his strikeout totals and the power hitter... 

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Baseball has a problem

A friend sent this photo from a game he was watching yesterday.  Yes, “TJ” stands for “Tommy John” surgery.  And this is only one team at one level. Folks, there are serious problems in the game of baseball.... 

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Why don’t more catchers drop a knee?

Yadier Molina takes a knee Being a catcher has to be the most physically demanding job on a baseball field.  Heck, my knees hurt just warming up a pitcher for a few throws.  I can’t imagine squatting down day in and day... 

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Cardinal sins of base running

If you have watched MLB highlights over the past few days then you probably have seen this play from Yadier Molina. The base runner who went to third on the walk broke three (yes, a MLB player committed THREE!!!!) cardinal sins... 

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10 reasons to front-toss

Sitting or standing, underhand or overhand, front-toss is tough to beat. There are several ways to practice hitting.  Live BP and hitting off a tee are popular ones.  All have value but in my opinion and all things considered,... 

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Beating a slow pitcher with your feet

Ask any Major Leaguer who they would rather face – a hard throwing guy bringing it 93mph or a soft throwing guy who throws anywhere from 75-86 mph – and I bet well over 85% of them will say “bring on the hard... 

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Snap your swings like a boxer

Today’s video tip involves a phrase I have been using with my son recently in order to increase his bat speed.  The phrase is “snap your swings.”  As you will see, it is related to the sport of boxing. Share... 

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What are your hitting cues?

Know your cues and adjust them as needed Every hitter has a unique set of strengths and weaknesses.  Some are great at pulling the ball but not so great at staying back and going the other way.  Others are just the opposite.... 

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Happy Easter

Have a great holiday everyone!  Good luck if you are playing this weekend!  Family is going on vacation so the next post will be Tuesday! Enjoy the break! Share this:FacebookTwitterEmailPrint Read More →

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Brandon Phillips’ secret weapons

Phillips’ training paddle The past few winters I’ve had the pleasure of working with a major league scout/coach who is very high up in the Cincinnati Reds organization.  On the last clinic day before he had to leave... 

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The (un)holy alliance between pitchers and catchers (Part 2)

A few months ago I shared a photo that was circulating on social media which appeared to show a “dark substance” on the shin guard of a Major League catcher.  I implied that it was pine tar to help the pitcher.  I’m... 

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If you can’t play catch, you can’t play baseball

Not sure when this basic skill became so hard The last part of the Bible is referred to as “The Last Days” and lists seven prophecies that some claim will predict and lead us towards the end of the world.  If my... 

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Coaches, be in Code Yellow off the field too

Always be in Yellow In my last post, I wrote about the topic of mindset and presented four color codes that should guide the thinking of players. These codes were based on the work of Colonel Jeff Cooper as described. Once again,... 

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Color Coded Mindsets For Baseball

If you have been in the Marines or are in the gun world, you probably have heard of Colonel Jeff Cooper.  Cooper was considered to be one of the world’s top experts on the use and history of small arms (handguns). Among... 

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Confronting bad body language

A player’s bad body language on a field is one of my pet peeves.  Like many coaches, I despise it and do not tolerate it on my teams.  That being said, I also do not jump down a player’s throat when I see it the... 

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